Monday, March 30, 2020

Moscow in lockdown as capital is hit with over 1000 cases

Moscow entered lockdown today in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus after the capital recorded more than 1,000 cases of the disease.

Streets in the Russian capital were deserted today with Red Square empty after mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced the drastic measures last night. 

People can only leave their homes for very limited reasons including food shopping, medical treatment and walking their dog. 

The lockdown coincides with the start of a 'non-working' week declared by president Vladimir Putin last week in which shops and restaurants have been shut down.

Moscow mayor Sobyanin said people had ignored earlier warnings to avoid public places and non-essential travel. 

Many people went to parks for barbecues during an unusually warm weekend, despite the official recommendations.

'It is obvious that not everyone heard us,' Sobyanin wrote on his website as he announced the tighter quarantine measures.

Muscovites will only be allowed to go out to buy food or medicines at their nearest shop, get urgent medical treatment, walk the dog in a 330ft radius from their homes, or take out the bins, he said.

People who must go to work will be allowed to leave their homes, he said, adding that authorities would introduce a system of access passes in the coming days.

Russia's prime minister ordered regional authorities to make similar plans for a lockdown.

The country has so far reported 1,534 cases of coronavirus - more than 1,000 of them in the capital - and eight deaths.     

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